One stage actually challenges you to fetch a comb before escorting a mermaid to safety. It's a fusion of both the level styles that really only highlights just how similar they are. Most levels consist of several areas, linked by large holes and when looked at as a whole the environments are actually quite large. However, annoying James can only carry one item at a time, meaning that while you may see two desired items together; getting both will require two trips. Thankfully, to minimise tiresome backtracking, warps litter the levels, which can even be used even if you are carrying something.
Using the Amiga version as a base Bak was under time pressure, as EA wanted the game available as close to the console's European launch as possible. "Our relationship with EA was certainly a little strange," Sorrell once said to Eurogamer. "'James Pond' was the first Mega Drive game to be developed in Europe and was produced in a crazy rush on a one-of-a-kind Mac-based dev-kit that Steve had to personally fly back with from San Francisco."